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distance learning courses

Posted by berger-423858 - Created: 3 years ago
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10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

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Posted by kathyd2 - 3 years ago

I'm with a3 - have a go at www.duolingo.com to start off with - it'll give you an idea of whether  you like to learn this way or not before  you spend lots of money on something. It's free, you can start at whatever level you like, you get audio and written practice (and I think spoken too if you  have a microphone), it marks your work and you progress through levels. 

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Posted by SallyDixon - 3 years ago

Try the Open University - yes it is expensive but you can go it alone and buy the materials second hand on Amazon or via a second-hand university book shop. The books are excellent and there is a huge amount of listening and video material. You can also record yourself on the interactive DVD and listen back. It goes from beginner right up to degree level - which I have done [twice].

The OU is specifically designed for people who study alone, and yes you do need bags of motivation but don't be put off by people who say it isn't possible. It most definitely is. I studied French first and then Spanish and was told in Spain how good and clear my Spanish was... You can then join a language exchange site to Skype etc. for extra practice such as Open Language Exchange.

bon courage!


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Posted by orme2 - 3 years ago

I understand what berger means about the problem when computers decide if something is right or wrong.  I've never done an online language course, but tested my English for fun once.  It came out as 'intermediate level', and when I checked the answers I found that the poor computer thought there was only one way to say things.  As we all know, English is a very rich language and there are often many ways of saying the same thing.



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Posted by berger-423858 - 3 years ago

The CNED course has a lot of listening material with gap fill exercises and comprehension questions and being a French product the famous "dictée". The grammar is explained in French so having some books explaining German grammar in English is helpful. I could take a further course with some telephone conversations with a native speaker.

I'm enjoying the course. As exercises are computer marked, sometimes things are marked "wrong" if you put more than one word in a box, even if the sentence is correct. That can be a little frustrating. Apart from that, I find that it's very good.

I agree that the best way to learn a language is in a country that speaks that language but that isn' t always possible.

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Posted by walnut72 - 3 years ago

I disagree, I think distance learning can be great, as for hearing the language most include an online dictionary that you merely click on the word/phrase to hear it,don't think much paper is involved these days. When I first came over, I used to do a lesson on line, then go out and practice it on my neighbour or some other poor person.

I think that is the best way to approach it, especially for a beginner, builds skills and confidence at the same time.

Also you can do little and often which is not possible if you do face to face lessons only

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Posted by Reveuse-918439 - 3 years ago

Online distance learning for languages these days can be very good, they've overcome the disadvantages avoican mentions. You can have tutor contact on the phone or by skype, and online teaching materials where you listen to native speakers. You can record your responses and play them back yourself and also your teacher can listen to the recording and give feedback on your accent. So it's not at all restricted to printed materials, like it used to be. Obviously some courses are better than others but some are excellent. If you find a good course and a good tutor, you can learn a lot.

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Posted by avoican - 3 years ago

I think you're very brave trying a language course by distance but in reality theses courses are doomed to failure . The only way to learn the language is to immerse yourself in the country and speak to people, you cannot learn pronounciation in a letter ... I accept that you can learn the vocabulary but if you don't hear or speak it it doesn't work ... And yes I speak fluent German , French and some Spanish ...

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Posted by georgeV-988991 - 3 years ago

You could try Telelangue.com who I think do German.

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Posted by berger-423858 - 3 years ago

Since my posting, I've started a distance learning course with CNED. I'm happy with the product as it is allowing me to revise my rusty German without leaving the house. I'm also using some books to help with the grammar. Certainly there is no face to face contact and once I get better and able to try a conversation, I will have to rethink about classes. I might go for one to one lessons with a native speaker. 

I noticed however that CNED also offer a course for people learning French as a foreign language. That might be of interest to some of you.

Dundee University also offer distance leaning courses for French and German, using Skype. I did consider them and they accept enrolments from people living in France but I decided against as I did not want to do an exam.

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Posted by a3 - 3 years ago

As a starter try duolingo which is on line and an app and is totally free. It is simple to use and well structured.